A few years ago, when I decided to fully
admit to honor the fact that I’m a writer, I found a local meet-up group and attended. The focus of the group wasn’t critique. It was geared more toward the business aspect of writing.
It’s a great group. If it didn’t coincide with everything-my-kids-want-to-do on a weekend, I’d go every month.
Regardless, it was at that group that I met the women who run the critique group that I ultimately joined.
I’m not going to write a whole lot about this tonight because A) I’ve already written quite a few posts about my critique group, and 2) I’ve been working my ass off on my house tonight, and I’m tired.
I will leave you with a few, succinct words of wisdom.
1. Find a critique group. DOITNOW! The act of both sharing your work and reading the work of others only serves to make you a better writer. Don’t worry if your work isn’t “ready”… that’s the POINT of a critique group. You’re there to improve, not to prove how awesome you are. (Though, that does happen from time to time, and it’s fun when it does happen 🙂 )
2. Find YOUR PEOPLE. If you’re in a group, and you find your personality doesn’t mesh, or the group doesn’t understand or care about your genre, or you just feel uncomfortable…. find another group. It’s okay, really. I promise, it’s not an insult.
3. Show up when you say you’re going to show up. People print off copies of their work. Don’t make them kill trees for no reason.
4. Don’t defend your work during critique. If you don’t like a particular piece of advice, simply thank them for taking the time to read and respond to you, and then promptly ignore that advice.
5. After you decide to promptly ignore advice, sleep on it… and see if maybe they were right. Because sometimes (a lot of times)… they are.
And with that… I’m going to call this the shortest post ever… and go to bed!